Air New Zealand is moving ahead with the Virgin Blue alliance

Air New Zealand (Auckland) is moving ahead with Virgin Blue Airlines alliance after the New Zealand Minister of Transport approved on December 21 the trans-Tasman alliance between Air New Zealand and Virgin Blue.

Air New Zealand issued the following statement:

“The Minister has recognised the benefits and value created for consumers by the alliance,” says Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Rob Fyfe.

“I’m pleased that formal approval has been given, which combined with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s approval last week enables us to implement the alliance and deliver benefits to customers.

“Air New Zealand and Virgin Blue will now form a team to ensure we move ahead quickly with bringing the alliance to life over the coming months. We look forward to being able to connect our customers between all Australian cities served by Virgin Blue and all towns and cities where we operate in New Zealand.”

Copyright Photo: The next delivery from Toulouse for Air New Zealand will be special. This brand new Airbus A320-232 is painted in the special “Crazy About Rugby” color scheme in salute of the All Blacks rugby team. The pictured F-WWDF (msn 4553) will become ZK-OAB on delivery.

The All Blacks represent New Zealand in the rugby union, which is regarded as the country’s national sport. The team won the inaugural Rugby World Cup, are the leading points scorers of all time and the only international rugby team with a winning record against every test nation they have ever played. They have the highest win ratio of 75 percent and have held the top ranking in the world for the most period of time in the IRB World Rankings. Only 5 of the top 20 ranked rugby union test nations have ever beaten New Zealand in over 100 years of international competition.

Like the new logojet, the team’s early uniforms consisted of a black jersey with a silver fern and white knickerbockers. By their 1905 tour New Zealand were wearing all black, except for the silver fern, and their All Black name dates from this time.

The All Blacks compete annually with the Wallabies (Australia) and the Springboks (South Africa) in the Tri-Nations Series and are currently champions for the tenth time in the tournament’s 15-year history.